Saturday, June 16, 2007

Governor signs bill affirming right to counsel

Outstanding news via I Was The State: Governor Perry has signed HB 1178 by Escobar discouraging prosecutors from pressuring defendants to proceed in criminal cases without counsel. See Robert's excellent discussion. As Whitsfoe noted in the IWTS comments, one county where this will have an immediate impact with be Williamson, where litigation is pending over these subjects.

Governor Perry vetoed a virtually identical bill in 2005 after it passed the Lege unanimously, so this was a long time coming. See more on the topic from IWTS, the text of HB 1178, and a fact sheet from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Also for you legal geeks, here's the complaint in the Williamson County lawsuit.

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